How Sport can bring different people together
Why Football/Soccer brings people together
Even if you don't like football, chances are you know somebody that does. This year saw the European Championships hosted in Poland And Ukraine, where Spain became the first nation to win 3 consecutive International Championships (2 European Championships in 2008 and 2012, as well as the 2010 World Cup). Even at a domestic level, a lot of people follow football, whether it's a big team like Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool etc. or a local team, people will get into deep discussions about who is going to do well and who is going to perform poorly etc.
If you don't follow football, then I suggest watching two of the big teams play (i.e. Manchester United vs Arsenal) because they will generally offer interesting matches. It is also a good way to get into football in general at a domestic level.
One good example of somebody who doesn't follow football is my brother, but he would come to the pub with us occasionally to watch some of the matches with a few friends and me, purely for the social aspect.
My Opinion On Sport
In my opinion sport is really important to society because from my personal experiences, it has helped me develop my social skills as well as form new friendships and rekindle old ones.
I also think that sports like football and rugby are great ways for being able to help young kids gain confidence as well as gain leadership qualities by becoming club captain or just being able to show initiative.
Also from my own personal experience, I have found that I have been able to work better with people who have a similar interest in sport with me than with people who don't, because the communication has helped form a stronger relationship and be able to work better as a team. I have also gained confidence from playing sports and have been able to use it in other aspects of my life.
It's not all about playing sports however, there are other aspects of sport like physiotherapy and coaching roles available throughout sport, with coaching helping improve leadership qualities and communication skills. This can also be a great way to gain knowledge of sport in general and not just your specific role in the team.
How technology has helped improve sport
Over the past few years, sport has been implementing technology, like in cricket, they have started using DRS (Decision Review System) to overturn the Umpire's review. Each team gets 2 reviews per innings in a Test match and 1 if it's a One Day International. The DRS system has been a major controversial topic of discussion surrounding this year's Ashes series between England and Australia, mainly because of its inconsistency.
Football has also started to use technology with goal line technology. The Barclay's Premier League has started using the Hawk-eye system to decide whether the ball has crossed the line or not.
It's not just the technology directly involved in helping improve sport that has been improved, but also the invention of television. Without television, the amount of money in sport would be significantly less than what it is at the moment because the major TV companies around the world are paying millions of pounds every year to be able to show the major football teams in countries like England, Spain and Germany play every week. This has also helped the football clubs attract the best players because of the money they earn, as well as improve their academies and be able ti help develop their home grown players.
2005 Ashes winning team
What is your favourite sport?
Do you enjoy sport?
Sport in general as a social focal point
Unless you were living under a rock during the Summer, you will have probably watched some part of the Olympics and possibly some of the Paralympics. Dubbed by many as the Greatest Modern Olympics ever, and with so much support for the host nation, this year's Olympics was spectacular to say the least. It was also a great platform to bring communities together, especially when the Olympic Torch was going around the country.
As is often with the Olympics, there is always a National Hero or two. This year was Mo Farrah, who won the 5,000m and 10,000m and Jessica Ennis, who won the Heptathlon.
Cricket is another sport that has brought people together. For example, when England won the Ashes in 2005, the first time they won it since 1987, the amount of people getting into cricket and playing cricket raised dramatically.
The same can be said for Rugby Union when England won the Rugby World Cup in 2003. Once England had won the World Cup, there was a very dramatic rise in the amount of young people that wanted to play Rugby.
When England do well in the more well known sports like Football and Rugby, it helps promote and raise the profile of those sports and help more people participate in them.
Also, sports like American Football and Formula 1 get millions of people watching them. For example, the 2012 Super Bowl between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots had 111.5 million viewers worldwide. The Cricket World Cup semi-final between India and Pakistan was watched by up to 1 billion people. Formula 1 star Jenson Button has also been doing charity triathlons for the past few years to help raise awareness of different causes.
Overall, sport can bring people from different backgrounds together, from people who enjoy sport to people to people who don't enjoy sport.
Economic importance of sport
There is more than one reason why sport is an important industry for many countries around the world.
Apart from the primary social element of sports like football, where people from different communities join together to support their team, there is the economic factor.
For example, the football World Cup, which is the second most watched sporting event in the world behind the Olympics, generates a vast amount of money for the economy of the country that hosts it, as well as boosts tourism, even though that isn't always the case, for example when South Africa hosted the tournament in 2010, statistics showed that tourism had actually dropped over that year than compared to previous years.
Also, the amount of debt that major football clubs, especially in England, have amassed over the past few years is exponential, which is why Eufa and the Premier League have both introduced Financial Fair Play rules so they don't see what happened to teams like Leeds United or Portsmouth happening to other clubs.
Other major factors
As well as the social and economic factors, sport has also helped local communities all over the world, many of which have been poverty stricken and the use of sport, whether it be football, cricket or any other form of sport, have helped boost those local communities to give them a better chance of being able to live a more fulfilled life through sport and finding something they are passionate about.
Through Government funding, more young people are given the opportunities to participate in sport. This will give children the opportunity to improve on their communication skills, as well as listening and other skills that will help them in later life.
Sport is also a good way for companies to help build morale because it enables colleagues who may not necessarily have the bond outside of the workplace to share a common interest and be able to possibly form a friendship from the experience and be able to possibly perform better as a result.
Also, sport can be used as a great way to help raise money for charity because people will always be willing to do something to help a charity. It is also a great way to potentially meet new people and have a great day out.
There have been controversies in sport. For example, Russia's anti-gay laws has caused a lot of controversy with it hosting the Winter Olympics and a few Athletes are coming out as being gay in recent years and others showing their discontent about the new laws.
Why More People Should Get Involved with Sport
I feel that more people should get involved with sport because it is such a good way of improving self-esteem and you never know, you may find something you're good at. If you are able to find a sport that you're good at, then you could potentially get people at work to join in with you and could form a work team and be able to have competitions with people that you work with and also against other stores, if you work for a chain store like a supermarket.